Our conversation with Stevie Ryan was simply divine, so let’s not keep you from it. All you need to know about this Femme on Fire is that she’s sexy, hilarious, can twerk her way to rehab and stars in her very own sketch comedy show, Stevie TV, that airs Fridays at 10/9C on VH1.
Playboy.com: Everyone in the office has been passing around your “Twerking Intervention” video. What’s your favorite thing about twerking?
Ryan: I think that’s exactly what it is, you just named it! I don’t know what it is about twerking, but people find it very entertaining. So my favorite part of twerking is everyone else’s reactions to it. That’s what I twerk for, to see how people react to it.
Playboy.com: What are the most major changes between making your content for YouTube and for your television show?
Ryan: The biggest change that I can think of is worrying about keeping 100-plus people employed now! Trying to keep the show awesome so we can keep doing this, since it takes so many bodies to make a television show, is crazy. Before it was just literally me in my apartment, I was the only thing I had to worry about, and now there’s hundreds of people. You never want to let anybody down. There’s just a lot more pressure, but it’s worth it.
Playboy.com: You also seem to be very influenced by old-school comedy variety shows. What are they?
Ryan: I definitely grew up watching the best comedy shows. I luckily was alive when In Living Color was on, Tracey Ullman…I became obsessed with Laugh-In a few years ago, Pee-wee’s Playhouse… I feel the time that I grew up in was very imaginative and there were a lot of variety shows on. So I think it’s just part of being a child of the ’80s.
Playboy.com: When did you discover you were so good at creating and embodying characters?
Ryan: Oh, I still haven’t discovered that yet! I am winging it. I never understood the “fake it till you make it” thing, but it makes sense to me now. I’ve faked my way all the way here and I’m still faking it every day! [laughs] I feel like I haven’t mastered anything yet, I’m still learning. But thank you! That’s a very awesome compliment. But I’m just winging it, to be honest. When we shoot things, I just go for it. There’s nothing that I do, no rituals or anything like that, I just try my best and I always feel that I suck at everything! So I’m definitely still figuring it out.
Playboy.com: What are some challenges you face as a female comedian that some people may not realize?
Ryan: I think
that it’s not even just female comedians; I feel that females in general, any
field that you go into, it’s just harder. People often judge females by their
bodies instead of by their body of work. You always get checked out as a girl
first. People check you out first and then decide if they like you by the way
you look. I don’t think men have that issue. A man can be funny no matter how
they look. People are very tough on women in that sense, especially in comedy.
It’s a little harder for us because people don’t think women are all that
funny. I think so, but a lot of people don’t.
So I think you face a challenge of a) being judged as a woman right away because that’s what happens anywhere you go anyway and b) there’s that wall of people thinking women aren’t funny that you have to get through. It’s hard, but at the same time, fuck everybody. People are always going to be judgmental and weird about it, but you just need to push through. I just feel like I’m very lucky to be here and present in this time when women are rising up, especially in comedy. I think the timing is perfect; I got lucky in that area. I think that if I had gone out to sell this show at a different time, when women weren’t being seen as awesome as they are in comedy right now, I don’t think I would’ve sold it. But luckily I sold the show when Chelsea Handler was blowing up and we were post Bridesmaids, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, it’s in its zeitgeist right now. It’s really helpful that all of these other funny women have helped pave the way for me a little bit so I don’t have such a hard fight.
Playboy.com: You seem to get a lot of inspiration from television and mocking the insanity of the modern-day celebrity. What’s your opinion on how insane society gets over celebrities?
Ryan: I’m mixed because a part of me thinks it’s crazy that society gets caught up in all of the sparkly things. Anything that sparkles all of the sudden everyone is obsessed with when in reality a lot of it is really shallow. But then I find myself getting that obsessed as well. I don’t know what it is! I know that I like looking at these celebrities because I like looking at the human brain and seeing what people do when they have basically the world at their fingertips. They have money and fame. For me it’s very interesting to watch how humans operate in life at every level. That’s why I am obsessed with it, but again I don’t understand why people get obsessed when you throw a little glitter on it; it’s the new hottest craze. But hey, what can you do, to each their own. Some of it I just don’t understand, but that’s exactly why I love doing what I do. Because in that case I can make something, a sketch about something I don’t understand.
Playboy.com: What’s your opinion on our fascination with celebrity sex tapes?
Ryan: Like Farrah Abraham from Teen Mom who just came out with one! Again, to each their own. To be honest, hey, if you want to do that, go right [ahead,] it’s your life! I’m happy that there’s someone out there that can do it so I don’t have to, because that would suck. But at the end of the day, I feel like sex tapes are the easiest thing in the world that you can do. You don’t need any talent to make a sex tape, especially if you’re a girl. Any girl can get fucked at any time. You can just go down to a bar and find a dude and make a sex tape. You don’t need talent, you don’t need money and it’s not a hard thing to do. Any chick can do it. So I definitely feel that it’s a little pathetic in the sense of not having any goals or something to work towards in life. Develop a talent! I think it’s also kind of sad and pathetic, especially for your kids. I would be pissed if my mom had a sex tape! I would be mortified and I would be grossed out. I feel sorry for their children that have to grow up and see that. But hey, as long as they do it that’s just one thing that I don’t have to so it’s all good!
Playboy.com: What can fans look forward to in your new Stevie TV season?
Ryan: Well, we got a lot of twerking, of course, we got some strippers, we got some sign-twirling in there…We’ve just got a lot of things from across the board in there this season, it’s exciting. It’s a lot more original ideas than last season, I think, just a whole lot of fucking awesomeness.
The Many Faces of Stevie Ryan
Playboy.com: What’s your…
Favorite food: French fries. Any French fry…probably anything fried as well. French fries are the bomb. I don’t think you can ever go wrong with a French fry. No French fry tastes bad.
Favorite drink: Green Tea Frappuccino from Starbucks. I know I’m so like an Olson twin right now, but I love Green Tea Frappuccinos.
Worst pickup line: That one is hard! You hear so many ridiculous pickup lines, especially in L.A. But this one I’ve had a few times and I don’t know if it’s a pickup line or if there’s truth behind this, but it drives me crazy: I’ve had a few guys come up to me and ask me if I’m a triplet or a twin because they know my sisters. And I’m like, “What? Are there triplets or twins running around here that look like me?” I don’t get it, but I’ve been told that a lot. But then it always goes into some other ridiculous conversation. But “Are you a twin or a triplet?” is the worst pickup line. It’s stupid! It’s such a way for a guy to talk to you without having to talk to you.
Most embarrassing moment: Last season on the show I had to be in a fat suit for one of the sketches. Basically, you get into a body suit that covers you from your toes all the way up to your neck. So I had a few of those on, because they have to pad you. It’s a whole weird process, wearing a fat suit. So I was in mine shooting and I had to pee really badly. They had told me earlier in the morning that I wasn’t going to be able to pee because I was in 20 body suits and there’s no hole in the crotch area and told me not to drink anything. But in the scene I was doing I had to eat three Subway footlongs so I had to drink because, well, I just ate three sandwiches. So I started to cry because I had to pee so bad.
Eventually my main wardrobe girl, Jana, told me, “Okay. I’m going to take you into the bathroom and I’m going to cut a hole in the crotch so you can go pee really quick and we’ll just cover it up somehow.” So I get to the bathroom and I can’t fit in the stall because of my fat suit. I couldn’t fit at all. I had to have two Production Assistants come and hold my stomach up for me in the air and hold my fat up so I could hover over the toilet.
So I have them holding it up and I have Jana underneath cutting this hole for me in the crotch. And I can’t see anything and I’m still crying because I just had to pee and all of these people were in there and I have prosthetics all over my face…it’s crazy. So Jana says, “You’re over the toilet now, the holes are cut, now go ahead and pee.” So she’s bending down basically looking at my vagina. And so I go pee and she says, “Okay. Do you want me to wipe?” and I say, “Absolutely not! I’m going to wipe my own vagina today!” So I don’t know how I reached down and got underneath myself but I did. But as soon as I go down to wipe I hit Jana’s hand and realize that her whole hand and arm is covered in pee. I had somehow peed all over the wardrobe girl’s arms when I was trying to pee in the toilet because of the fat suit. It was a nightmare. As soon as I felt her arm I said, “Did I pee on you?!” and she just said, “Dude, it’s totally cool, don’t worry about it, let’s just move forward.” I was mortified. Cried and apologized. It was very embarrassing having all of your lady bits out and peeing on someone. I’m probably the only one who is going to get to pee on Jana so it’s not that bad. [laughs]
First memory of Playboy: I have two older brothers and I would snoop all the time. I would snoop under my brother Eric’s bed constantly. So my very first memory of Playboy, or even just seeing naked chicks in general, was sneaking under his bed and finding tons of magazines and thinking, “Oh my god, that’s what a women’s body looks like? That’s amazing.” And I would always go under there and sneak under the bed and look at the boobs and wonder when I’d get them.